A driver under the age of 21 that is charged with a DUI in Colorado will face serious consequences. The law is very strict when it comes to a DUI charge, and younger drivers caught driving under the influence need to fully understand the law and the charges they face.
Defining Driving Under the Influence
The blood alcohol level of the underaged driver will ultimately determine if they were driving under the influence. A DUI for underage drivers is defined as anyone that has a BAC (blood alcohol content) level of .02% of higher. This figure is only associated with drivers under the age of 21. Anyone older than 21 will have to meet or exceed a BAC level of 0.08%.
The consequences for a first offense are:
- 3 month automatic suspension of license.
- Community service work
- Associated fines and court costs.
If the driver reached or exceeded a BAC of .05%, they will face harsher punishments, including:
- 9 month suspension of license.
- More severe fines.
- Possible imprisonment of at least 5 days with a maximum of 1 year.
If a driver is charged with a DUI for a second time while under the age of 21, they will face harsher penalties including the following when BAC levels are between .02 and .05%:
- 6 month license suspension.
- Penalties, fines and community service.
If the driver had a BAC equal to or exceeding .05%, the consequences will be much higher. These consequences include:
- 1 year suspension of license.
- 2 days to 6 months in jail.
- Fines of $1,100 – $1,500.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Colorado has a zero tolerance law in effect for any underage driver charged with a DUI. Legal representation is highly recommended for many reasons, particularly to help:
- Lessen or eliminate fines.
- Reduce or dismiss jail time.
With the assistance of an attorney, it may also be possible to dismiss or lessen the license suspension, though this is not a common occurrence in Colorado.
If you are innocent and were not impaired while driving, a qualified DUI lawyer will be able to determine if the equipment used during the BAC was faulty and move forward with dismissing your case. It is essential to seek the assistance of a lawyer if your DUI test was invalid in any way.
The severity of your charges might necessitate an experienced DUI lawyer join your defense. If an underaged driver’s BAC exceeds .05%, they will automatically be charged as an adult and face additional consequences like jail time as a result. An experienced DUI lawyer can be invaluable in these situations where reduced penalties can mean staying out of jail.
If you’re underaged and facing DUI charges in Colorado, don’t trust your future freedom to the whim of the court. Get help. Contact us by email or call our office at 303-825-2223 and we’ll review the various defense strategies available in your case so you can move on with your life as quickly as possible.